Friday, April 27, 2012

When you think about the purchases you make, do you buy certain things because they were recommended by a family member or a friend? They are tried and true? Or you just could not resist the marketing scheme? This week I wanted to look at the techniques of persuasion used on consumers. The way marketing experts make us go out and spend our hard earned money. Advertisers usually resort to one or more of the following techniques: AVANTE GARDE: The suggestion that using this product puts the user ahead of the times e.g. a toy manufacturer encourages kids to be the first on their block to have a new toy. WEASEL WORDS: “Weasel words" are used to suggest a positive meaning without actually really making any guarantee e.g. a scientist says that a diet product might help you to lose weight the way it helped him to lose weight. PLAIN FOLKS: The suggestion that the product is a practical product of good value for ordinary people e.g. a cereal manufacturer shows an ordinary family sitting down to breakfast and enjoying their product. SNOB APPEAL: The suggestion that the use of the product makes the customer part of an elite group with a luxurious and glamorous life style e.g. a coffee manufacturer shows people dressed in formal gowns and tuxedos drinking their brand at an art gallery. BRIBERY: Bribery seems to give a desirable extra something. We humans tend to be greedy. e.g. Buy a burger; get free fries. TESTIMONIAL: A famous personality is used to endorse the product e.g. a famous basketball player (Michael Jordan) recommends a particular brand of skates. WIT AND HUMOR: Customers are attracted to products that divert the audience by giving viewers a reason to laugh or to be entertained by clever use of visuals or language. SIMPLE SOLUTIONS: Avoid complexities, and attack many problems to one solutions. e.g. Buy this makeup and you will be attractive, popular, and happy. GLITTERING GENERALITIES: The glittering generalities technique uses appealing words and images to sell the product. The message this commercial gives, through indirectly, is that if you buy the item, you will be using a wonderful product, and it will change your life. This cosmetic will make you look younger, this car will give you status, this magazine will make you a leader-all these commercials are using Glittering Generalities to enhance product appeal. Are we immune to these marketing techniques? Are our purchases made purely on the basis of value and desire, with advertising playing only a minor supporting role? Marketing specialists know better. Although few people admit to running out and buying something because of an advertisement, surveys and sales figures show that a well-designed advertising campaign has dramatic effects. A logical conclusion is that advertising works below the level of conscious awareness and it works even on those who claim immunity to its message. Ads are designed to have an effect while being laughed at, belittled, and all but ignored. Don’t you find it amazing that those commercials that get on your nerves are the very products that we look at in the stores? Haven’t we noticed that if a child sees a toy enough times they have just got to have it? Even if they don’t know anyone else that has it? Isn’t the holiday season filled with commercials with everything from toys to cars? The newspaper is so heavy with advertisements that you can hardly pick it up! Marketing agents are paid the big bucks to make you spend the big bucks!


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